Germany is experiencing a further ramp-up of hydrogen filling stations. On July 31, two new ones started serving customers in Sindelfingen at the A81 freeway and in Pforzheim at the A8. The former, a Shell station southwest of Stuttgart, is in direct vicinity of the Daimler factory that houses the carmaker’s R&D facilities on fuel cell technologies. Stijn van Els, chair of the German Shell companies, said: “Hydrogen is a promising technological field. We expect this alternative engine fuel to play an increasingly stronger role in markets such as Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK and the US from the 2020s on.”
ITM Power (NASDAQ: ITMPF) is the first R&D fuel cell business from the UK making the jump onto the British stock exchange. ITM manufacturers power-to-gas systems, H2 filling stations and electrolyzers. Currently, it is working on a module-based electrolyzer that could allow for combinations offering up to 100 MW capacity.
During the HYACINTH project supported by the EU, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI based in Karlsruhe, Germany, and its partners have studied how well-accepted hydrogen technologies are by the general public as well as industry and governmental stakeholders. The result was that overall, there was a more positive attitude toward those technologies in Germany
After one hydrogen filling station had each been installed in Wuppertal and Ulm in summer 2016, another three went into operation last fall. As reported previously (see Three New Hydrogen Filling Stations), the H2 pump at the Metzingen gas station south of Stuttgart came online on Sept. 23. Five days later, however, it had to be shut down again when a truck hit it. Its trailer had been caught in the pump, resulting in at least EUR 60,000 in damage.
Since this summer, Germany has been able to offer eco-conscious drivers two more opportunities to fill up their hydrogen tanks. The first new station went online in Wuppertal on June 19 and is viewed as the prototype for the planned nationwide H2 infrastructure, according to the Clean Energy Partnership. The project supported by EUR 670,000 consisted of the addition of a hydrogen fuel pump to the Shell gas station
An energy self-sufficiency project is set to be tested on the Orkney Islands, UK: Hydrogen from wind power will be used for fuel cell range extenders integrated into electric vans to offer clean transportation. In April 2016, twelve partner companies from six EU countries were awarded the contract for this project
Life’s hard on Honda: The Japanese carmaker has always been overshadowed by its biggest rival Toyota. Whereas Toyota is expanding its lead thanks to VW‘s diesel emissions scandal, Honda’s efforts to shine in the spotlight, at least by promoting forward-looking technologies, have been met with only a lukewarm press reception. The latest example of that was the corporation’s unveiling of its second generation of Clarity fuel cell cars in the fall of 2015. The presentation attracted much less attention than when Toyota showcased the first generation of its Mirai.
Not too long ago, France’s capital had been the venue for the UN Climate Change Conference COP21. Even if hydrogen and fuel cell technology was not a separate item on the agenda, it is a good bet that many of the around 40,000 participants – from government officials to business associations and unions to environmental and religious organizations – have developed a basic understanding of this technology
“Stationary fuel cells in Europe are on the threshold of a commercial market launch.” This finding in the study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants implies that the market launch of FC heating devices is yet to take place. So that a commercialization can take place, according to the analysis on the status of stationary fuel cell technology in Europe, “support by the state is required in the initial phase”.
In the scope of the study commissioned by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the authors considered different types of stationary fuel cells in differing output ranges and areas of use, and ascertained that in Europe